Just a quick one today, just to say that two pre-tournament warm-up fixtures have now been arranged in late May and early June. This means that there are now three friendly matches for the Nationalmannschaft between now and their opening match against Portugal in Lviv on 9th June 2012.
Following the already arranged friendly in Bremen against France – which will take place at the end of February – the DFB have arranged an away fixture against Switzerland in Basel (taking place on Saturday 26th May 2012) followed by a match-up against Israel in Leipzig (Friday 1st June 2012).
Switzerland have been very popular opponents over the years, with fifty matches being played between 5th April 1908 and 26th March 2008. Germany have won thirty-six of these fifty encounters, with their last defeat taking place in 1956 when Sepp Herberger’s side were defeated 3-1 in a friendly in Frankfurt am Main. The last meeting between the two sides was in the spring of 2008 in Basel, with the Mannschaft winning 4-0 with goals from Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski and a brace from Mario Gómez.
Germany have played Israel three times since 1987, winning all with a colelctive goal difference of ten against one. Their last meeting was in Kaiserslautern in February 2002, as Rudi Völler’s team racked up a 7-1 win – having been a goal down at half-time. German players actually scored all eight of the goals that day: after Oliver Kahn had given the Israelis the lead with an own goal, Klose scored a fifteen-minute hat-trick while Dietmar Hamann, Oliver Bierhoff, Gerald Asamoah and Lars Ricken also got their names on the scoresheet.
As far as website updates are concerned, the match reports for the earlier European Championship tournaments are well under way. The reports for 1988 have almost been finished, while both 1980 and 1984 have been provided with detailed summaries which will be expanded as soon as I receive my copies of the origin footage from Richard Boulert at rarefooty.com. If you are interested in looking up an old match or reliving some past memories, I can heartily recommend Richard’s site.
In addition to these match reports I have now fine-tuned the section on the German Nationaltrainers, and added a new section to the World Cup category following the recent release of the qualifying fixtures for Brazil 2014. There has also been some other fine-tuning around other parts of the site.
I have now dedicated myself to doing at least one match report every two days, though this will hopefully become one a day during what should be a quiet yet productive Christmas break. It’s fun, but time-consuming.
I will probably be pushing out another quick update notice before the year is out, but if I don’t I’d like to take the opportunity to wish my ever-growing number of visitors and subscribers a happy Christmas – and what will hopefully be a Championship-winning New Year!